The Secret Trials of Brown University
From April 26 through May 5 of 2004, in courtroom #4 on the second floor of the federal courthouse in downtown Providence, Senior Judge Ronald Lagueux presided over the jury trial of a lawsuit under The Americans with Disabilities Act. There were no observers in the gallery – no reporters, no students, no professors, no department secretaries, no townspeople.
With one exception. On the first morning of the trial there was a solitary Caucasian woman, aged in her forties or fifties, present to observe the questioning of the first witness. During the morning recess a few people came back from the defendant’s table, introduced themselves, and talked to her for a few minutes. She left the courtroom and never returned. For the duration of the trial, no other observer entered the courtroom.
The defendant in that trial was Brown University. During the trial, eight past and present Brown professors, deans, and provosts gave testimony about disability, retaliation, academic competence, academic fraud, and sexual harassment.
No news reports were ever published, and relatively few people know that it ever happened. This is the story of that trial.
The book consists of six chapters, and the typical extras
Chapter One, "A Hidden Case" (pages 1-5)
Chapter Two, "A Historic Context" (pages 6-21)
Chapter Three, "On Advocates and Advocacy" (pages 22-36)
Chapter Four, "On the Merits" (pages 37-56)
Chapter Five, "Silencing Dissent and Writing Culture" (pages 57-95)
Chapter Six, "A Maimed Ritual" (pages 96-116)
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